There are so many reasons to look for home remedies these days, and essential oils are becoming increasingly popular for the health benefits they may provide. One that I find incredibly useful for my family is lavender—whether used topically or in a diffuser. Here are the top five reasons I reach for lavender around my house.
Make sure to consult a physician before treating yourself or your family with any essential oils and test sparingly to see how you react.
One of the most common uses of lavender is to help with relaxation. I often make a point to diffuse it when I’m feeling stressed—or even if one of my kiddos is feeling anxious. Research has shown that folks exposed to lavender aromatherapy have reduced levels of anxiety and improved mood compared to control groups. 
- Keeping Bugs at Bay Lavender essential oil can be used to protect clothes and linens from moths and other insects. It can also be used to deter insects outside from ruining your picnic or barbeque. Try planting some fresh lavender by your picnic table!
If my kids are having a hard time getting to sleep at night, a few drops of lavender essential oil in a diffuser in their bedroom can be really helpful. The science backs it up—research  has shown that subjects exposed to lavender aromatherapy become more relaxed and experienced increased drowsiness. I even sometimes rub a couple of drops into the soles of my own feet before hitting the sack, and I find that I sleep more deeply when I do.
Believe it or not, lavender has even been shown to reduce symptoms of migraine sufferers.  Try diffusing some or dabbing some on your wrists the next time you have a headache and see if it works for you!
Lavender’s antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties mean it’s also a worthy foe against acne. Since the skin of the face is already irritated with a breakout, I recommend diluting the lavender essential oil—whether applied topically with a base oil, like high quality olive oil or coconut oil, or used in the bath or shower.
Many folks ask me which essential oils they should look into when first starting out—for the reasons above and many others, I always recommend lavender! It really is the Swiss army knife of essential oils. I like to keep a bottle handy in my purse in addition to keeping it stocked at home. How do you use lavender essential oils in your life?
Sarah Kolman is the mom of three boys, a Registered Nurse, an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, and has a master's degree in Contemplative Psychotherapy. Her private practice as a health coach blends her experience and career as a nurse with her passion for nutrition and holistic wellness. She is the author of Full Plate: Nourishing Your Family's Whole Health in a Busy World. Learn more at www.this-one-life.com.